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Mood of the Nation poll: Who can fill Narendra Modi’s place as PM from the BJP or the Sangh Parivar?

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Mood of the Nation poll: Who can fill Narendra Modi’s place as PM from the BJP or the Sangh Parivar?

According to voters, who in the BJP or the Sangh Parivar can be a prime ministerial alternative to Narendra Modi? Here are the results of the January 2019 India Today Mood of the Nation survey.

MOTN poll: Who can fill Narendra Modi's place as PM from the BJP or the Sangh Parivar?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah at the concluding session of the national executive committee meeting of the party. (Photo: Pankaj Nangia/Mail Today)

As many as 22 per cent of respondents in the January 2019 India Today Mood of the Nation (MOTN) survey think Amit Shah is the person in the BJP or the Sangh Parivar who can be a prime ministerial alternative to Narendra Modi.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Union Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Minister Arun Jaitley are next in the list, having been picked by 16, 13 and 12 per cent of respondents, respectively.

That a majority of people think that Amit Shah is the best candidate for the prime ministerhip after Narendra Modi is understandable because of strong factors backing Shah. For one, in public perception Shah is like the eyes and ears of Narendra Modi himself when it comes to taking important decisions affecting the government and the party.

Illustration: India Today magazine

No major decision of PM Modi concerning the government is taken without consulting Amit Shah, who understands Modi’s mind in governance and politics like no one else.

Amit Shah also plays a role in policy-making, and his inputs have been crucial in the framing of schemes like Ayushman Bharat — which has emerged as a flagship scheme of the Modi government in the light of the next Lok Sabha polls, because it seeks to give health insurance cover to around 50 crore people.

A majority of BJP men believe that few past presidents have worked as hard for the party as Shah.

The figures speak for themselves. He had travelled seven lakh kilometres since he became president in 2014 at the rate of 550 kms a day. In the process he has visited 450 of the total 700-odd districts in the country, visiting each state at least three times.

Under his leadership the number of party’s district headquarters having their own office or at least land, has risen from 160 to 400.

But more than that, the perception that Amit Shah is the best choice has emerged because of Shah’s emergence as a great orator after becoming the party president.

The normally reticent Shah was a good speaker but never a fiery orator with an ability to move the people with his words and style.

After all Narendra Modi’s aura as a great leader is also embedded in his aggressive and convincing oratory. In the public’s eye Shah has proven his credentials by leading the party to victory in over a dozen state elections and in another four in alliance with other parties.

It appears Amit Shah will continue to be the strongest contender for the prime ministership after Modi for at least some time to come.

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